The Delhi High Court ruled that denial of MACT compensation to children from the first marriage of road accident victims is not legally justifiable.
Advocate Sankar N. Sinha, appearing for the appellant contended that the tribunal has erred in awarding compensation to respondents who were children of the wife of the deceased from her first marriage. He argued that they cannot be treated as dependent family members of the deceased.
He added that the tribunal has erred in taking the monthly salary of the deceased at Rs. 41,807/- whereas the laim of the wife of the deceased was that the salary only Rs. 35,000/- per month.
Advocate Varun Sarin, appearing for the respondent, contended that claimants are children and were living with the deceased as such would be treated to be dependent upon him.
The single judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva noted that the deductions from the income of the deceased would be 1/3rd as the deceased was married. Tribunal has made a deduction of 1/3rd from the income. So there is no error in computation and it would not make any difference to the computation either by taking respondents as dependents or not.
The court said that even though the claimants had stated that the deceased was earning about Rs. 35,000/- per month, the tribunal has relied upon the documentary evidence that had come on record.
The court highlighted a dictum from the case Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Ramanbhai Prabhatbhai & Another, (1987) SCC (3) 234 where by the Supreme Court has held that having regard to the condition of the Indian society, every legal representative who suffers on account of the death of a person due to a motor vehicle accident should have a remedy for realization of compensation.
The court while dismissing the appeal held that it found no infirmity in the impugned award and the computation of compensation by the tribunal.
Case title: United India Insurance Co.ltd v/s Farida Sarosh Poonawala and Ors.
Citation: MAC.APP. 19/2022& CM APPL. 4119/2022